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Blake, William. Songs of Innocence and of Experience. Vol. 2. Princeton University Press, 1994.

William Blake possessed a vast library of prophetic books that included a plethora of mythopoeia. The author worked hard to weave his visionary and theological-political theories into a prophecy that predicted the events of a future century. A burning desire to put forth an embodiment of the world is fundamental to many of his literary works, as well as his psychology. The majority of known myths have represented an endless battle between the facets of enlightenment and the free will of love. On the other hand, there is an in-depth exhibition of education and morals of the society. The paper will conduct a cognitive overview of the annotated bibliography of the theme of racism and slavery in “The Little Black Boy” and the ‘Chimney Sweeper” poems in the Songs of Innocence and Experience.

Songs of Innocence and of Experience. The Little Black Boy.

The poem primarily gets its assertion from Blake’s attitude to slavery. It was firmly on the side of William Wilberforce together with the Abolitionists (William, 178). Blake borrowed a lot from the book by Stedman. Stedman’s work depicted a lot of mistreatment to the black race with acts that involved torture and humanity. The targeted population was that of the ones who dared to revolt and showed signs that they demanded their freedom. Blake embodies a Christian point of view when making assertions concerning the existence of humanity. All people are equal in the sight of God. The truth, as affirmed in the Bible is exemplified in the black child. There is also an engraving that shows both the white and the black child being by Christ who is the good shepherd.

The author of Songs of Innocence and Experience portrays the differences between the black and white, soul and body together with the earth and the heavens. In the first stanza of the poem “The Little Black Boy,” The child depicted in the poem says that:

‘I am black, but O! my soul is white(Blake, 162.)’

There might be a problem in comprehending the religious equations between black/evil together with white/good when an individual has a black skin. The author presents us with the fact that the English child has no such difficulty in understanding the scenario. They are associated with white and are also compared to an angel. The smile of the narrator is if bereaved of light. Blake makes us understand that the feeling develops because of ignorance, fear and the possibility of darkness that engulfed the narrator’s life. The child protests that he has a light on his soul. This is a clear indication to the reader that he or she should visualize beyond mere physical differences and consider the real person beneath. Much of the contrasts get solved at the end of the novel. The reader comes to note that the two children bask equally in the warmth and the presence of the Lord.

The mother in the poem has a characteristic of being wise and loving. She comforts the boy that God is the creator of the burning sun. The black skin as an exquisite form of protection against the burning rays. The author helps us to learn that after the soul is filled with God’s love, the clouds, that in the story symbolizes the clouds, will melt away so that the human can join God in heaven. The Lord God is compared to the sun because he has the beams of love. It is made clear that the ‘clouds’ can prevent one from receiving the light from God. The black child helps to pass the teachings to the white child. The information helps to deprive the white child the feelings of racism and social discrimination. It also helps protects him. The assertions are supported by the following lines from the poem:

‘I’ll shade him from the heat till he can bear

To lean in joy upon our father’s knee.’

Many authors have continued to constantly demystify the attributes of racial segregation. Blake affirms that when the bodies diaper, everybody is the same and God’s love will cover everybody else equally (Elbert, 180). The fact that the bodies are compared to the clouds shows that they are insubstantial. Therefore, there is no advantage of being a white as compared to the black counterpart. The author is also actively demystifies the common perception that people have that do not see more than their physical senses. It is presented in the line:

‘When I from black and he from white cloud free.’ From the readings, it is subtly clear that Blake has a futuristic understanding of a society in which everybody lives in love without segregation on the basis of skin color. The vision encompasses white and black people coming together with the same common feelings of love, equality and the innocence of childhood (Wu, 154). It is also the kind of imagination that the author promotes the readers to embrace and live its spirit. The world will then become a paradise. The black child is also portrayed as more intelligent and more enlightened than the English boy. The black boy is also succinct in passing information to the white boy.

The poem takes the direction of a Ballard nomenclature. There is a cohesive simplicity in the flow and the architecture of the poem. It hints the polite and the reserved manner with which the racially segregated individual is when solving the contemporary issues. The narrator addresses the reader in a conservational tone. God’s love is equally exemplified in the poem. It cuts across all races, social status and age equally with equal love.

Work Cited

Blake, William. Songs of Innocence and of Experience. Vol. 2. Princeton University Press, 1994.

Hague, William. William Wilberforce: The life of the great anti-slave trade campaigner. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007.

Ebert, Kimberly L. "Demystifying color-blind ideology: Denying race, ignoring racial inequalities." Skin/deep: How race and complexion matter in the “color-blind” era (2004): 174-196.

Wu, Frank. Yellow: Race in America beyond black and white. Basic Books, 2003.

September 11, 2021

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